The Evangelical Debate About Adam and Eve

I’m interested in Craig’s book as an old earth creationist, I’m not overly committed to a specific model regarding the historical Adam and Eve. I just would like to see more of a dialogue between Intelligent design and evolution advocates

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Who ever said there were 32 lineages?

Is that what they say or is that you talking? I don’t think it’s true.

Needs? I don’t think so. It would be nice.

Perhaps is something you can take up with @glipsnort. I’ve already noted that it’s weak evidence that might rule out a single couple bottleneck. Seems your argument might be with him. But WLCs/Gauger’s/RTBs models doesn’t demand there was not interbreeding, so not sure why it matters so much any ways.

Why? What does he say about HLA alleles?

Then it isn’t a bottleneck of two. And how do they deal with the evidence that H. sapiens is related to other primates? Were A&E created or did they descent from a larger population? It matters because they’re proposing a genetic, not just genealogical first couple, and descent of A&E from a population conflicts with Genesis.

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The quote is from Ann Gauger, “The Science of Adam and Eve,” in Science and Human Origins , by Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Casey Luskin (Discovery Institute Press, 2012), p. 120. – which is available online from EN here (if the link doesn’t work, search for “The Science of Adam and Eve” on Google Scholar).


You’re already giving up the farm when you accept and use the pseudoscientific framing of referring to a large set of strong theories as a mere “claim” and only mention the use of evidence retrospectively.

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Turns out that Gauger got the “32 lineages” claim from Francisco Ayala, “The myth of Eve: Molecular biology and human origins,” Science 270 (1995): 1930–1936. But Ayala didn’t get this number from phylogenetic analysis but from a molecular clock assumption, and those alleles are not shared with other primates. She talks about the actual shared alleles (though she forgets one; it’s 6, not 5).

And she isn’t talking about a bottleneck, really. She’s talking about separate creation of humans, unrelated to other primates: “It may be, though, that as we continue to investigate our own genomes, the Darwinian explanation for our similarity with chimps— namely, common descent—will evaporate.” This is an explicitly creationist claim.

And she either has no understanding of incomplete lineage sorting or gene loss or is suppressing that understanding for nefarious purposes.

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You misunderstand me. That’s not what I was doing at all. :slight_smile:

Then maybe you should make more of an effort to make yourself more understandable.

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Let me try. Perhaps he’s saying that we should not automatically assume that everything a creationist says is false and everything an “evolutionist” says is true, but we should judge claims on the basis of evidence. In this particular case, a couple of evolutionary biologists (or something) made a couple of incorrect claims, which a creationist put the worst possible spin on. The claims were still incorrect. I would quibble with the “honest challenges” part, as the creationists in question would not appear to have been honest.


Yes, looking back over it, I notice that Gauger stated:

In the 1990s a population biologist named Francisco Ayala set out to challenge the idea of two individual first parents, using sequence information from one of the HLA genes.

This reference to “two individual first parents” certainly makes it seems that Ayala was talking about a separately created Adam and Eve. However to my surprise, when I looked at Ayala’s paper, I discovered that he was explicitly talking about “The Mitochondrial Eve” and “The ZFY Adam”, and appears to make no mention of anything resembling Gauger’s “first parents”.

Given that even talking about Mitochondrial Eve and ZFY Adam would appear to get a scientist misrepresented, it would seem to be a hardy scientist who would willingly dive into the theological snakepit that is the historicity of Adam and Eve, particularly as any benefits of that engagement would seem nebulous at best.


descent of A&E from a population conflicts with traditional interpretations of Genesis.

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And I’m sure that scientists will be absolutely delighted to be dragged into a debate as to what the archaic Hebrew wording in Genesis actually means. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


It’s hard to spin the creation of Adam from dust and Eve from his rib as anything else. What do you have?


27 posts were split to a new topic: Boris Badenoff: Adam and Eve and Astrotheology

Yeah, I can’t see the upside. The problem is that there really is no possibility of scientific “engagement.” The best fit between the myth and science is to frame the myth in terms which make it nonfalsifiable. That renders it utterly worthless to anyone who is at all curious about what’s actually true, and so what is the point? I think that scientific attempts to accommodate these things, unfortunately, tend to create the entirely false impression that there is some sort of support for the claim of a historical Adam and Eve, when all that is really being said is that science cannot demonstrate the non-occurrence of a one-off miracle long ago.

There is some argument for the use of these accommodative positions as a gateway drug for easing people off of fundamentalism. But while methadone is good for the things it’s good for, it’s still not, in itself, good for you.


A very good question, John.

One alternative exegesis of the second account of creation (Genesis 2-3) would regard it as a kind of parable. Phyllis Trible gets a lot of mileage out of this perspective.

Personally, I am still sorting through the exegetical question.


Let me clarify: it’s hard to spin the creation of Adam, etc., as anything else if you take it as an account of real events. If you suppose that Adam and Eve did not in fact exist, that’s another matter.


I heard Casey Luskin is an old earth creationist and IDer so I imagine he would advocate for a historical Adam and Eve circa 100 thousand years ago.


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